Bees, of course, are not busy just keeping the garden and countryside stocked with lovely flowers they are essential pollinators of food crops all over the world.
Some crops are obvious and the connection between them well known; the Osmia rufa’s help in the orchard which I wrote about in my post “There will be apples” and the Bumblebee’s contribution in “buzz” pollinating tomatoes in greenhouses which I wrote about back in October “A Buzz in Middle C, Bumblebees for Crops”. But it’s much more, nuts, field crops, soft fruit, herbs and spices and it’s not just honey bees, the solitary bees are there doing their bit and sometimes a very crucial bit! At Wikipedia there is a fascinating “List of Crop Plants Pollinated by Bees”. You can see more crops from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center just run down the list and see what you would miss.
At the moment in this hot weather we live on gazpacho. It is without doubt one of my very favourite foods and I make it by the gallon. I looked at the ingredients yesterday and thought about bees.
Bee pollinated ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, coriander, basil, cumin, onion, garlic, cilantro, in short almost all of them.. and I always add honey.
It really brings things home .. I just can’t imagine life without these favourite ingredients! Thank you bees for my delicious gazpacho!
One Out of Every three Bites
We will be showing the “Vanishing of the Bees” Film at the exhibition, here is their synopsis:
Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
So in the exhibition I will be including a few sketches with notes to remind people about the foods we eat and their relationship to bees… sometimes it truly is the only way to their hearts!
Melons, squashes, cucumbers, apples pears etc
Beans of all sort, soft fruits, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries
fodder crops and brassicas, tomatoes peppers .. and more and more and more….